Ancient Egyptian Animal Fables

Tree Climbing Hippos and Ennobled Mice


One group of ancient Egyptian drawings has captured the curiosity of scholars and laypeople alike: images of animals acting like people. They illustrate animal fables originally from a larger mythological narrative, making them an integral part of New Kingdom Thebes’s religious environment. This book examines the purpose of animal fables, drawing cross cultural and temporal comparisons to other storytelling and artistic traditions.

This publication is also the first thorough art historical treatment of the ostraca and papyri. The drawings’ iconography and aesthetic value are carefully examined, providing further nuance to our understanding of ancient Egyptian art.

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Jennifer Miyuki Babcock, Ph.D. (2014), Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology and Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute in New York City. In her current research and publications, she is investigating the different visual manifestations of deities and the fluid nature of visual narrative construction in ancient Egyptian art.
List of Figures

1 Introduction to the Materials

2 Artists and Audience: Deir el-Medina and Its Inhabitants

3 Understanding Ancient Egyptian Aesthetic Value

4 Constructing Visual Narratives in Ancient Egypt

5 Animal Fables and Their Purpose

6 Contextualizing the Egyptian Imagination: Concluding Thoughts
Appendix: Catalogue
The topics addressed in this book would be of interest to academic libraries, specialists, and graduate students studying Egyptology, literature, animal fables, religion, and art history.
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